Why Your Business Needs a Turbo Charged Email Marketing Plan

Improve Your Business to Business Email Marketing

Every business has (or should have) a business plan and a marketing plan. Your business plan talks to “why you are in business,” your goals, your purpose and passion for your business. But equally important is your marketing plan. Your marketing plan talks about how you will make others aware of your business, how you will position yourself in the marketplace and of course the all important USP, also known as “Unique Selling Position” (or Proposition). An email marketing system should be a big part of your marketing plan.

Yes, it has changed quite a bit over the years, but permission-based email marketing is a tremendously successful marketing tool. It can’t help but be successful. Done right, you are sending carefully crafted messages to an audience already interested in your products or services.

But let’s be clear. Email marketing is just that – it’s marketing messages you send through email. This does not mean you are sending spam messages to a huge list you bought, borrowed, or begged from another source. You’re sending your email message to prospects, clients and customers that have agreed to receive your messages.

Effective, targeted email messages can be a powerful means of advertising your new products and services. Permission-based email marketing means that the people on your list requested that you send them information. I’m sure you will agree this is an amazing benefit to have such a list. Instead of waiting for prospects to find you or your product or service you can simply contact them directly via email.

What the heck are you waiting for?

Not doing an email marketing campaign or have a permission-based list of prospects and clients? You can get started today, but there are some hurdles you must cross before you can begin your email marketing campaign.

First, you will need a way to manage your email subscribers and your marketing messages. You are looking for what is known as an “autoresponder,” or for short, a “bulk email management system”. J If you Google “autoresponder service” or “autoresponder software” you will find a variety of free, cheap, and even expensive options. Some are good. Many are bad.

Some are software you download and host on your server. These are scripts or list servers that will reside on your server’s hard drive. These are generally less costly because you pay for them one time and have them forever. The problem with this solution is that in these days of heightened spam tensions, ISP’s are most likely to be wary of bulk email coming from servers they do not recognize. If your server name is not AOL, Gmail, hotmail or one of the leading email services, they are likely to question you, make you jump through hoops and possibly just ignore you and your messages. And what’s worse, you may not even realize it, thinking your emails are being received and are just not effective for you.

HOW FRUSTRATING!

An email marketing company would be a better alternative. This option is a little more costly but ISPs will usually “whitelist” or pre-approve these email marketing solutions since they usually tightly control how their customers (like you) gather email addresses and send out bulk email to their own customers and prospects. The two most popular of these are GetResponse and Aweber. You will pay for these monthly, but in the end, if your messages are not reaching your prospects, how much is email marketing really worth? You can learn more about how Aweber can help you turbo charge your sales efforts by watching their free email marketing webinars.

Another hurdle to a successful email marketing campaign is the gathering of email addresses. As I mentioned earlier, the only way to run an effective email marketing campaign is to be permission-based. So how do you get your prospect to BEG you to send them your sales message? Well, in most cases you don’t just ask them. (Although this is a common technique if you have a “brick and mortar” business or retail storefront—just ask them!) Instead, concentrate on giving them something of value in exchange for their email address. What can you give?

  • A newsletter, packed with useful information
  • Tutorial on one of your products or services with special tips they can’t get anywhere else
  • Special report, again related to your product or service, providing unique, helpful information
  • Free tool
  • Discount (everyone likes a discount)
  • Contest prize

Finally, you will need to create your messages. There is usually an instant follow up when they join your list, then a series of timed updates usually containing good, quality content sprinkled with a link to your site and sometimes a sales message. This ability to automatically follow up is the strength of a good autoresponder solution. You enter the message and how many days in between they are to be sent, then you simply “set it and forget it.” Your sales message is delivered on auto-pilot.

You can also send important messages “on demand,” messages that are not part of your follow up system or in addition to it. But be careful. You need to carefully balance length, content and timing. If you abuse your list be sending sales messages every day people will soon be unsubscribing from your list. However, if you offer them content they find useful in addition to your sales message, your retention rate is likely to be much higher.

So, why again did I want to setup an email marketing plan?

Email marketing is still the most cost effective way to get your sales message out. It is usually free other than the time spent to manage it. Even if you paid a service to manage your email list and send your messages, it is still much more cost-effective than most conventional online or offline advertising methods.

Other benefits include:

  • Email marketing is a soft sell versus a hard sell
  • Your list is pre-qualified since they have opted in to your messages
  • It can be easy to setup and run on auto-pilot

So, when you are setting up and reviewing your business plan, don’t forget to review your marketing plan and make sure email marketing is an integral part. Email marketing can give you a great return for a small investment of time and money.

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